verb (used with or without object)

to draw or gather into wrinkles or irregular folds, as material or a part of the face; constrict: Worry puckered his brow.


a wrinkle; an irregular fold.
a puckered part, as of cloth tightly or crookedly sewn.
Archaic. a state of agitation or perturbation.

Origin of pucker

1590–1600; apparently a frequentative form connected with poke2; see -er6 and for the meaning cf. purse
Related formspuck·er·er, nounun·puck·ered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pucker

Contemporary Examples of pucker

Historical Examples of pucker

  • He was gazin' at me with his mouth open and a pucker between his eyes.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • He drew his brow into a pucker which furrowed the flesh between his brows.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • What are you thinking of, Judy, and why do you pucker up your forehead?

    A Young Mutineer

    Mrs. L. T. Meade

  • “Padre, my shoe pinches,” said Nora with a pucker between her eyes.

  • Mr. Ashe laughed as he smoothed out a pucker in his niece's brow.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston

    Caroline E. Jacobs

British Dictionary definitions for pucker



to gather or contract (a soft surface such as the skin of the face) into wrinkles or folds, or (of such a surface) to be so gathered or contracted


a wrinkle, crease, or irregular fold

Word Origin for pucker

C16: perhaps related to poke ², from the creasing into baglike wrinkles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pucker

1590s, "prob. earlier in colloquial use" [OED], possibly a frequentative form of pock, dialectal variant of poke "bag, sack" (see poke (n.1)), which would give it the same notion as in purse (v.). "Verbs of this type often shorten or obscure the original vowel; compare clutter, flutter, putter, etc." [Barnhart]. Related: Puckered; puckering.


1726, literal; 1741, figurative; from pucker (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper